happy 10th birthday. a tennis party.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

we celebrated deanie's 10th birthday.  i really love her so much, and when i think back to the day she was born, i think about how i have loved every year of her growing up.

since she is turning 10 and she loves to play tennis, we both thought up the idea of a 'ten'nis birthday! :)

dinner was yummy and fairly simple.  homemade cold chicken salad, potato pie, fresh fruit, and layered salad.  i also ended up putting a big bowl of tortilla chips in the middle.

the cake was so fun to make!  its always a highlight for the kids to see how there cake turns out.  i use betty crocker super moist white cake mix for this one.

the little bar like treats were a huge surprise for deanie.  they are almond pasteries from a dutch bakery about 45 minutes away that daddy picked up in the morning.  she has had them at my sister's house before and never stopped talking about them.  she was so excited that we remembered!

i still think solid colored balloons are the easiest way to decorate!

the day before the party dancy and boone cut out paper tennis balls and rackets and hung them from the chandelier.  they love being involved in the planning and i thought they did a stellar job!

boone wrote out some simple rules that every party-goer should acknowledge.  i didn't even know signs were being created until they were hung up.
1. no shaking presents
2. don't go outside barefooted
3. obey! (i cut that off the picture)

dancy made an agenda.  she did ask from the schoolroom while i was in the kitchen,

 "how do you spell adenga?"
 "you mean agenda?"

i love it.  i love the british spin on the word 'outside' as well.  or whatever oteside sounds like to you when you say it.

ready for the family!

we did a penny hunt....fun!  we hid a lot of plastic eggs around the yard. they each had a penny in them.

we had a pinata!  this is a big deal as i think i have said "no" to this for the last 10 birthday parties.  we filled it duggar style.  little plastic bags prefilled with each person's name on it.  so when they all fall out everyone just finds their own bag.

the pinata eventually fell off the tree.  they didn't care......the beating continued on the ground.

present time.  deanie received so many fun gifts!

walkie talkies with an 8-mile range!  the kid's have been determined to try to communicate with each other with walkie talkies while one person is running errands with mom and the other person is home with dad.  :)  they also use them in the yard.

such a great gift!

an archaeologist kit to dig for treasures and bones on the property.  lovely.  really though she has an interest in archaeology and this has been a fun gift!

more books from the 'dear america' series!  yay!

her first tennis dress.

and an official junior sized racket.

during this moment when she was blowing out her candles i just watched her and ingrained that memory into my brain.  she didn't do one huge gusty blow this year.  she them out in three soft breaths.  on purpose.  so calm.

growing up. able to explain her feelings. determined to finish what she starts.  loves planning surprises for other people.  i love you more than the stars in the sky sweet girl.  i love that you love Jesus, you love others and are such a big helper.  you are so smart and i pray that you will always give God the glory for the gifts He has given you.

the pantry has been cleared.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

this pantry cleanup cleared out a lot of stuff!  i found myself using the pantry as a catch-all.  in doing so, the food storage area was becoming messy and disorganized.

phone station before:

phone station after:

- threw away several outdated papers
- hid the cords to the sound system
- moved all the appliance manuals to a basket
- donated 1 vase

three drawers after:

- top drawer is aprons.  donated one.
- middle drawer is the snack basket.  emptied all the crumbs.
- bottom drawer is reusable grocery bags.  got rid of 6.  i now have 8 plus 2 thermal bags.

 pantry before:  woa nelly!

it was getting out of hand.  just setting stuff wherever when i was in a hurry.

when in doubt, shove it on the floor.

okay.  get the picture?  very 'stackish, hodgepodge, whatever mess'.

so here is what your kitchen may look like if you too decide to clean out your pantry. notice, i cleaned mine out at night. daddy played with the children before bedtime and put them to bed so i could finish once i started without too many interupptions.  i did NOT want this mess in the morning!

oh yes.  soak it all in.


- wiped down the shelves
- vacuumed the crumbs
- discarded old food.
- realized we had 3 syrups.  

as much as i would love a cutesy pantry with labeled baskets, it just isn't practical for how often we're in and out of here during the day.

food and dishes must be easily accessible.

i do keep popcorn supplies in a basket only because we eat microwave popcorn like twice a year :)

coming up for air....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

i've been cleaning out my pantry, mudroom, cabinets and laundry room......it's got to get messy before it gets clean people.  

i'll be back tomorrow with some more encouraging 'after' pictures.  

okay....going back under.

40 bags in 40 days: in action

Friday, March 11, 2011

my friend amy came over the other day with her adorable kiddos.  we talked about lent and made these  gameboards to track the days until Easter.  i found the idea here.

we added Jesus (attached with poster putty) that will move along each day.

amy went home and started her 40 bags in 40 days journey. she blogged about it here.
go visit amy and you will see that they didn't end up pulling their hair out....they were successful!

her pantry is simplified, clean.  i'm sure that her mind doesn't have to think about that anymore....leaving more room for GOD!   and THAT is awesome.

are you blogging your 40 bags in 40 days project?  please let me know!

40 bags in 40 days. preparing for easter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

today is ash wednesday.  the beginning of the season of lent.  40 days until Easter (not counting sundays).

this can be a time to clear the house and make more room for God.

when i was younger i would hear of lent in church and maybe jump on the bandwagon of fasting t.v, or pizza, or chocolate.  i never remember the fast lasting very long, and i don't remember it meaning very much to me.

as i have grown deeper in my faith, lent has become a time of fasting for the purpose of giving more to God and knowing His grace.  participating in a fast of any kind does NOT make me more worthy to God or a better Christian.  my choosing to celebrate these days holds the purpose of glorifying God, giving more to others, making LESS of me.

i first heard about the 40 bags in 40 days from sarah.  it intrigued me and we did this last year.  it is a commitment and pairing this with devotions, prayers, discussions and activities relating to lent can really make the season more meaningful.

this process allows me to feel the buildup to Easter physically.  Easter the day to celebrate the fact that Jesus arose from a 3 day death!

would you like to join me in the 40 bags in 40 days?

1.  make a list 1 through 40.  write down areas you want to go through and simplify or purge.

2.  each day go through the designated area and decide what you will throw away or donate.

3.  glorify God for who HE is.  what He has accomplished.  Love Him more and show His love to others.  its not about me.  its about Him!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

i am answering emails.  from last may.

yes, i am admitting total defeat.  thank you for all the amazing, supporting, inquiring emails!

i am working my way through answering them and then sorting them into an "answered" folder.

so, if you receive a random email from me answering your question from almost a year ago......

"HI!" :) :)

alright....back to it.

p.s.  do you have your garbage bags ready for tomorrow?  40 bags in 40 days will be explained then.  be ready!

sneak peek: the office.

Monday, March 7, 2011

busy busy busy.  a good busy which can also read: 'not much time left for the computer or blogging' busy.

i do have this going on though.

the office.  it's coming along.  i have to order window hardware, find some wall art and a few pieces of decor for the bookshelves.

i'm looking forward to wednesday.  a fellow homeschooling friend is coming over and we're making a candyland type game for the 40 days until easter.

i also want to start 40 bags in 40 days on wednesday.  if you want to join in and use this project as a way to prepare for lent, make sure to have a box of garbage liners on hand and i'll explain on wednesday.  :)

craft time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

some days it just works to get the paint out and get a little messy.  

i love this shot of hank.  he is the world's funniest face maker.  hands down.  he's not even trying here :)

dancy would paint all day if i let her.

boone informed me this morning that he either wants to be:  "one, an athlete. or two, a painter".  um. okay.  i'm still pushing "a dentist". 

and really, when daddy paints with you?  that's the best.  really.
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